Following the incident, a conflict alert trial was conducted at Williamtown to validate the safety case which had determined that, due to numerous unavoidable spurious alarms, the conflict alert function in ADATS should be disabled. After hazard identification and risk assessment, simulator testing of developed procedures and training of APR controllers commenced with the trial running for 2 months (25 Jul 2011 - 30 Sep 2011) across various traffic conditions.
Over the period, excessive alarms were activated of which were as a result of a lack of separation assurance or a loss of separation; however, the subsequent investigations indicated that the alert did not assist in the identification nor resolution of the conflicts.
Controllers were found to be distracted by the additional procedures required to avoid false-alarms, deliberately controlling inefficiently to avoid false alarms or accepting false-alarms resulting in desensitisation.
Consequently, the trial outcome was to discontinue the use of CA during military operations, however it is enabled upon cessation of military flying activity at Williamtown.
DoD took appropriate action in trialling the re-enablement of the ADATS conflcit alert function at Williamtown. Even though they have identified that it is more effective had the conflict alert function disbaled, due to a number of factors, the alert function is being ebaled when there is no military flying.